As someone who dreams of writing for television one day (in addition to writing movies), I of course watch a lot of television and movies. And I do this even though I’m working full time and going to school part time to get an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore and working part time as the Production Manager of the school newspaper. I’m a busybody. I’ve always been in the midst of such a balancing act, and I don’t know if I’ll know what to do with myself next May, when I’m finally free of school for the first time since I was five years old. It’s going to be strange but gratifying. First of all, come next May, I will have written, edited, designed and typeset, and ultimately published a tangible book of my own short stories. But aside from the magic of that, I’ll also have time for television, and I’ll have time to work on screenwriting seriously—as well as work on my short stories and potential novels outside an academic setting and, therefore, at my own pace.
I can’t wait.
I wrote a blog entry similar to this one last year (in fact, it received the highest traffic of any of my other entries), but I’ve been putting this one off because I just don’t know how much time I’m actually going to have for television next season, as I’ll be finishing my M.F.A. over the course of the next year. With that as a disclaimer, I guess I can just list shows I’ve been watching and would like to continue watching. There are some shows from last season and other previous seasons that I didn’t even get to start at the time they premiered, but I’ll probably wait until I finish my degree for those (e.g., Grimm, Smash, the canceled Terra Nova and Ringer, and many others).
So, here’s what I plan on watching this summer (while working on my bucket list of movies, as well as classic and newer-but-unfortunately-canceled shows, on DVD or streaming):
True Blood (HBO at 9) – fifth season premiers June 10
Breaking Bad (AMC at 10) – fifth season premiers July 15
Teen Wolf (MTV at 10) – second season premiers on a special day: Sunday, June 3
The Exes (TVLand at 10:30) – second season premiers June 20
I guess that’s it for current shows this summer. Hot in Cleveland begins shooting season four in August, so I’m guessing it won’t air again (after next Wednesday’s season finale) until November. Now for fall 2012 shows (which, on broadcast networks, traditionally start around September, though the CW has announced that it will wait until October this year):
Once Upon a Time (ABC at 8)
The Walking Dead (AMC at 9) – third season premiers in October
Dexter (Showtime at 9) – via DVR, no word yet on when it premiers
Parenthood (NBC at 10) – shortened season of 15 episodes
Supernatural (CW at 9)
Hot in Cleveland (TVLand at 10) – will probably start airing in November
American Horror Story (FX at 10) – probably via DVR
Vampire Diaries (CW at 8)
30 Rock (NBC at 8) – via DVR, shortened (possibly final) season of 13 episodes
Glee (FOX at 9)
The Office (NBC at 9) – via DVR
Unfortunately, both Supernatural and Glee got moved to the very nights I will have class this fall, so what I thought was going to be a slightly more relaxing schedule than normal will instead be crazy, between school and television. I will probably make sacrifices in the form of not watching certain shows until December (e.g., Dexter), and as I said above, I’m already putting off even starting a few shows until I’ve finished school next May. Anyway, American Horror Story and Dexter should conclude for the season by the end of 2012. That will lighten things up slightly. Then, if it doesn’t drive me insane, as I’ll be pushing my as-of-yet untitled book of short stories through the publication process, I’ll add these to the above schedule in winter 2012–13 (they usually start in January):
Shameless (Showtime at 9)
House of Lies (Showtime at 10)
Mad Men (AMC at 10) – via DVR
Being Human (Syfy at 9)
Spartacus (Starz at 10) – via DVR (but possibly not until I finish school)
And I think that’s it. There are a few new shows that seem mildly interesting, but I probably won’t even attempt to watch them until next summer or beyond (let alone the shows I’ve wanted to watch in the last few years but haven’t had time for). The new shows I’m talking about include NBC’s Revolution (Mondays at 10 this fall) and The New Normal (Tuesdays at 9:30 this fall), FOX’s The Mindy Project (Tuesdays at 9:30 this fall; I really wish they’d given this show a better name, though, or in fact any name at all!), and CW’s Arrow (Wednesdays at 8 this fall) and Beauty and the Beast (Thursdays at 9 this fall).
Come next May, I’d like to be a television-watching, hesitantly L.A. area–bound, spec script–writing machine. I’ve been missing out on a lot, televisionwise, since I started college and grad school, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I came to the U.B. program so I could work on my creative writing skills in general, and now I want to use them not only for shorts and novels but also for screenwriting. But I’ll have to be careful to have a life outside television and writing. That’s the trouble with dreams; sometimes, they take over and you can’t see where they end and you begin.